Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts served with a Worcestershire based sauce, are the perfect blend of salty and sweet.
I have been making these for over 30 years.
I am sure this came off of the back of a product, but it’s been a minute since I last saw it anywhere near a product package.
It could have been chestnuts, or soy sauce, or even Worcestershire sauce.
If I had to make an educated guess it was probably Worcestershire sauce since not may recipes use it.
This is a perfect snack for tailgating, game day parties, New Year’s parties, and just about any gathering of people.
I have been known to serve these at Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and even Christmas day while the holiday meal is cooking.
This is not the usual recipe so commonplace now, the dipping sauce has no BBQ sauce, grape jelly, or ketchup.
The sauce only has a few ingredients that you might already have on hand; soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, butter, mustard, and brown sugar.
These best when made with thinly sliced bacon.
Thick sliced bacon can be used, it just takes much longer to cook in the oven, and adds to the cost of making.
Ready-to-eat bacon from the store can also be used here since it is still pliable.
Using pre-cooked bacon will reduce your baking time but also increase the cost.
You can add some chili sauce or sriracha to the dipping sauce if you want a little more heat.
You could even marinade your water chestnuts in additional soy sauce, but this is going to produce a mighty salty finished product.
If you add chicken liver and green onions, you can make rumaki with a different spin on the traditional teriyaki sauce.
Add jalapeno slices if you want to add heat to the actual chesnut rather than just adding heat to the sauce.
Really, you could even wrap a pineapple piece or a date rather than a water chestnuts because the sauce is pretty versatile and goes with just about anything you would want to wrap in bacon.
- You can easily double and triple this recipe. It can even be reduced by half if you are only cooking for a few people. The only real limit on this one is the size of your baking vessel and the time required to individually wrap the water chestnuts.
- A trick for getting the toothpick through the water chestnut is to use the fancier toothpicks that have one blunt end.
- It is so much easier when you can push on the end rather than try to slide it in with the middle because of the pointed ends.
- Try and get as close to the center of the chestnut as possible, otherwise, they might split. If this happens, just wrap the bacon tighter and try to skewer it in a manner in which both halves are attached by the toothpick.
- Use a foil-lined pan for easier clean-up. If not, you may find you need to soak your baking pan to get the burnt bacon grease off.
- I would not cook this in a crockpot or slow cooker but it can be kept warm in a slow cooker.
- To do this put the baked water chestnuts into the slow cooker and set the heat to warm.
- You can pour the sauce over the top, I just find this makes for sticky toothpicks and fingers.
- Instead, try pouring the sauce into the bottom of a slow cooker before placing the cooked bacon-wrapped water chestnuts in the slow cooker, toothpicks all facing up.
- I always cook these in the oven, but someone with more patience than I could grill them over medium-low heat or even smoke them.
- Don’t freeze leftovers. The texture will not be the same.
- Once you have assembled them, you can in the refrigerator for a few days in a sealed container.
- I just wouldn’t do this too many days in advance as your bacon will start to lose its color and its freshness, the same as an open package of bacon would.
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Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts
- Combine brown sugar, yellow mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and butter in a small saucepan. Heat over low, stirring occasionally until blended. Keep warm until ready to serve.
- Drain chestnuts and rinse with water, drain again.
- Take 1 short strip of bacon and wrap around 1 chestnut. Carefully push a toothpick through the ends of the bacon strip and chestnut.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with sides with foil and spray foil with baking spray. Place wrapped chestnuts on a baking sheet. Place in oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until bacon is done to your liking.
- Allow to cool slightly before serving, the chestnuts will retain a lot of heat in the centers.
- Serve with sauce for dipping or place in a slow cooker set to warm setting and pour sauce over the chestnuts to keep warm.
- Alternately, you can use a broiler pan. Spray bottom portion of the pan with baking spray, place the top on the broiler pan and spray top with baking spray. Place chestnut on top of the pan using the slats as holders for toothpicks.
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